Thoughts On A Book Blurb
Does Anyone Look At These Things?
Does anyone read them before deciding?
Honestly, I’d relegated blurbs to that pile of I’ve got to do this before I finish…until I handed my old Paperwhite to my sister-in-law the night before we came home.
At breakfast, she had it.
My mouth got dry and my heart raced.
Then she turned to me. “The battery ran down so I didn’t get far. But you need a synopsis…or blurb…or something. I can’t tell what’s going on.” Done, he handed it back and went off to pack.
You could have knocked me over with a feather.
I wanted to argue, but got that Do Not Say A Word from my S.O. Hurt, with lots of thoughts screaming through my mind, I said nothing to her. Eventually, my writerly self took over.
When I ran my WIP through Beta Readers on Scrib, they knew it was fantasy. And I’d mislabeled it Romance – Fantasy, instead of fantasy with a love story subplot. If only I’d learned.
My sister read my revised version and loved it…but she’s my sister…and loves me unconditionally.
On the other hand…my sister-in-law knew nothing about my WIP, or genre. And…she’s seldom reads fantasy. Besides, I hadn’t prepared her in any way…a perfect cold reader…one I confused. Priceless. Painful but priceless.
And I proved, again, how very, very blind I am.
I’m sick and tired of being completely stupid.
A blurb seemed a good first step.
When in doubt, rely on google — How To Write Blurbs. Within seconds, I had dozens of hits, and found helpful sites:
While #1 and #2 had good tips, #3 also offered a formula.
I turned to Amazon and looked up numerous fantasy titles. Some blurbs engaged me immediately…others didn’t. Out of curiosity, I also Looked Inside. Generally, polished blurbs meant higher quality writing inside.
Then…I journeyed to the library and pulled ten random hard-cover books, flipped each to the back and found…no blurb. They live on the inside jacket. But, paperbacks have blurbs on the back. Again…the quality and approach varied dramatically.
Unable to stall any longer, I settled on the approach offered on the third site:
Her simple layout lays it all out:
It’s similar to a 27 word logline, except we try for 200 words or less. But I’d never considered #4…describing the genre and not the story.
These wonderful exercises remind me I have little natural talent…that I have to work to make writing remotely compelling and interesting. My first try, although 200 words long, read clunky and long. After applying tips from sites #1 and #2, it flows better.
Anyway, it’s good enough to get feedback on Scrib…assuming anyone notices. I might post all three versions here.